Deptford & Greenwich

The Boundary Commission for England, the independent body established to review the size and shape of MPs' constituencies, has recommended that Lewisham's electoral map be redrawn. As predicted, it proposes abolishing Lewisham East and Lewisham Deptford and lumping Brockley, Ladywell, Deptford, New Cross, Blackheath and chunks of Greenwich together in a new constituency,' Deptford & Greenwich', which shall henceforth be known as Greater Brockley:

The purpose of the review is to reduce the bias that has crept in to the electoral map over time and to reduce the number of MPs. Simon James, Secretary to the BCE says:

“Now that we have published our initial proposals we welcome people’s participation until the consultation closes on 5 December 2011. People can contribute via our website, they can write in or email us, or come and present their views at a public hearing in one of 36 venues around the country between 11 October and 18 November this year.”

The BCE website (www.consultation.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk) provides full information about the review and sets out how people can get involved and register.

87 comments:

patrick1971 said...

That map seems to leave out Crofton Park, Nick! Surely we're still "Greater Brockley"...especially as we're the original Brockley :-)

Brockley Nick said...

A good point. I will be writing to the Commission to demand a correction.

patrick1971 said...

I see that Crofton Park is going to be in the "Dulwich & Sydenham" consituency, along with Peckham Rye and Forest Hill.

Might make it very interesting - hard core Labour in Peckham Rye, mung-Labour in Forest Hill and parts of Crofton Park, monied Tory in Dulwich and working-class Tory in Sydenham and Perry Vale. Might make things a bit more interesting than the 98% endless Labour vote in Lewisham Deptford. I think Labour would still get such a high vote in Lewisham Deptford even if Joan Ruddock killed and ate a baby on live television.

Anonymous said...

One of their representatives was on Radio 4 this morning. When asked for the site URL, he said "er... the easiest way is to 'Search' (not google?) "boundary changes."

I thought that was an odd thing to say. Why not just tell people the URL?

http://consultation.boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/

This is why I work in the private sector... this sort of thing would do my head in.

mb said...

Perhaps this will wakeup Joan from her hibernation. Perhaps she's bevering away in the background doing great things, not sure I've heard a peep from her.

As Lou has pointed out, her or Nick Raynsford? At leat Raynsford has actually expressed an opinion recently. Perhpas we can tag our politicians to see if they actually grace their boroughs?

Lou Baker said...

I thought it was very sensible.

Who'd remember such a long link - and boundary changes is easy to remember and the search worked.

Labour, of course, will whine about the changes. It won't help them - but then they currently get an unfair advantage from the system.

Big losers, though, will be the Lib Dems. Bloodbath for them at the next election.

Anonymous said...

Why not tell them the URL? Perhaps it's easier to search for "boundry changes" rather than crash the car while trying to write down the URL? That's how I found the info this morning.

Lou Baker said...

@mb

I saw Ruddock contribute to a debate in the Commons before the summer break.

Honest.

It was so profound I can't recall which debate it was or what she said.

name said...

"Big losers, though, will be the Lib Dems. Bloodbath for them at the next election."

GOOD! The two faced, so and so's

Lou Baker said...

Why are they two faced?

The Lib Dems have always been a party that has advocated coalition government.

And now they're actually in one - one which has actually adopted a considerable number of Lib Dem policies - their supporters whine like mad.

Perhaps it's because Lib Dems supporters only ever saw themselves being in coalition with Labour - in which case have the courage of your convictions and vote Labour.

I, for one, applaud Nick Clegg for what he's done - and think he and his fellow Lib Dems in government have brought sanity to a government which, otherwise, could have been shockingly right wing.

patrick1971 said...

I know it's going to be harmful to them, but that aside, I have been really, really shocked at the way Labour has so virulently opposed these boundary changes. Who on earth could be opposed to the idea of constituencies with approximately equal numbers of voters? But they've fought it tooth and nail with every craven excuse in the book.

Anonymous said...

Why not make the URL slightly less cumbersome?

A Non said...

why? because searching for "boundry Changes" is so easy and will be widely reported in the press. If your the type who finds the exact boundries interesting and want to read the source material I suggest you're smart enough to find it. It's not as if there are rival 'boundry change' reports that may lead you astray.

In short, it's not an issue.

Anonymous said...

@Patrick agree mostly but obviously any political party looks to arange things to cement their position. They wouldn't have suggested a change if it disadvantaged them. The real shocker for the Lib Dems is that they agreed to the referendum on AV on a high when it seemed to have a lot of support, the Tory's snuck in the boundry change thing in with it. A far more signifficant change and something that wasn't really debated.

ON a NON said...

if you type 'boundry changes' you may be directed to the word spelt correctly. You may not. Thats why these things matter.

Headhunter said...

"I think Labour would still get such a high vote in Lewisham Deptford even if Joan Ruddock killed and ate a baby on live television."

Joan Ruddock, Satan's Servant, live on BBC4....

And On said...

Yes....exactly... and you'd STILL find the site! clever guys these google chaps.

ON a NON said...

Might I refer the honourable member to an element of my previous post: 'You may not'

Brockley Ben said...

@On a Non. "You may not"... But, in fact you do, at least in Google. And if you're going to spell it wrong in a search engine you're going to get the URL wrong too – and you're even less likely to get help there.

So: a perfectly sensible way of promoting a website on the radio. And a complete non-issue.

Brockley Nick said...

Lots of brand advertising and promotion directs punters to "look for us on Google, Facebook, etc"

Anyway, what does everyone think of the new constituencies?

ON a NON said...

Are we to have a complete spelling free for all because Google has a redirect facility?

Danja said...

I also get confused by such very simple directions, and that's obviously why I also work in the private sector.

NAT said...

Looks like the average income of the constituents has taken a bit of a hike.

Anonymous said...

I may be wrong but there appears to be a chunk of Lewisham missing?

Anonymous said...

If you DO google it, "boundary changes" lists the official site halfway down the page, under a load of scathing news articles and unofficial stuff.

PR fail. Unless you work in PR, in which case PR success! Now someone sell me a handmade toast caddy for £150.

mb said...

A totally non scientifc impression is that it will be difficult to find an MP who can have an effective position for the those with Deptford issues and those in Blackheath village. Anyone have an idea of the demographic spread? it's likley to be more pronounced in London than perhaps anywhere else in the country?

Would be less of an issue for more amorphous constiuencies out in the sticks.

(PS, I managed to find the source material BEFORE the BC article. I work in the Public sector so perhaps have becomed accustomed to such ineffiency)

Peter Tooke said...

How civilised being grouped with Greenwich and Blackheath. Hopefully this is a chance for our patch to shake off the shackles of Labour who barely have to knock on a door to get themselves re-elected.

mb said...

Greenwich and Blackheath are Labour. Nick Raynsford, another ex New Lab minister so not actually that different. Does seem more active as an MP though.

Dan said...

"Anyway, what does everyone think of the new constituencies?"

On the face of it will have no impact on my life , whatsoever.

Please correct me if you think I am wrong.

Brockley Nick said...

You are probably right, but as others have suggested, it may mean the end of Joan Ruddock as your MP. Make of that what you will!

NAT said...

Can't see that it would do more than eat a little into her majority. The two Greenwich wards which would be joined, returned 4 Lab councillors and 2 Tories at the last locals.

Anonymous said...

...but who would be the candidate?? will Joan and Nick wrestle in jelly over it?

TM said...

Yes

Ian on The Hill said...

Not only do I like this constituency, but that's the borough I want to live in.

Ian on the Hill said...

I lie of course - I want the old Deptford brough back.

NAT said...

Agreed Ian on the Hill. We'd get greater access to the Sea. You must have that before you can have a 'greater' anything

Tamsin said...

It's odd straddling two boroughs. Borough wide organisations often want to deal with nad involve their MPs - and this one will now have an extra full diary because of it.

Joan Ruddock does a lot with overseas aid and development and has a mass of constiuency work. And the interesting thing about London constituencies, I gather, is that they are in fact usually larger than the 76,000 people - so many are not on the electoral rolls. And the urban populations are the ones with readiest access to the MPs surgeries - which amount to a steady stream of people with problems for hours on end.

patrick1971 said...

What are you saying, though, @Tamsin? That London constituencies should have fewer voters in them than rural ones because people are too lazy to register. so we "know" there are more people even though they can't vote?

Maybe people should be checked to see that they're on the electoral register (or for some reason eligible to live here but ineligible for the register) before the MP sees them in a surgery...!

Tamsin said...

Neither - just tossing it out as an interesting side-light. Each type of constituency has its own problems.

Hugh said...

What will this mean for house prices and Council Tax?

Lou Baker said...

@ tamsin

I am a Ruddock constituent. I have written to her three times - once by letter, two emails. I've yet to have a response.

That is lousy.

I've also met her once and she was rude to me.

I don't care how busy she is. She's supposed to represent me and, in my direct experience, she does a very poor job.

Some friends of mine - Labour party members - are quite chummy with her and know her quite well. Maybe she's only interested in helping her Labour friends. How does she know I don't vote Labour? Either way I've been dead unimpressed. My previous MP responded to all four letters I sent him - and even though he was another barking lefty I voted for him because he's a bloody good constituency MP.

fabhat said...

Lou,

I'm also a Ruddock constituent and have sent her two emails and received two replies - one by letter, the other by email.
I am not a labour party chum - so I don't expect I have any special treatment...

mb said...

She's got back to me after a couple of emails i sent after drinking. Try sending them drunk, works for me.


Perhaps she needs to make herself a little more visible. Set up an account on SEC or get her office to have a presence, be a bit more proactive. There are loads of established hyperlocal sites now, It could be considered arrogant to expect people to come to her.

NAT said...

@ Hugh, this is a proposed constituency boundary revision rather than a local authority one.

Missing for constitutional and administrative?

Hugh said...

Ruddock mings like a dynasty.

Headhunter said...

Yep, I've received emails replying to my emails from Joan, not generally very detailed ones though. When I lived in Islington, Emily Thornberry used to reply in detail to every email I sent and even sent me personally signed Christmas cards. I think she fancied me...

NAT said...

Now Hugh, we know we're not supposed to say things like that, don't we.

Lou Baker said...

Maybe I'm just unlucky - or she's dumbstruck with awe at my intelligence.

NAT said...

Yes. That's it, most likely

CPZ Brockley said...

I think the new consttuency should all be under one local authority rather than being split: Hello The Royal Borough of Greenwich, bye bye hopeless Lewisham

Trixie said...

"I think the new consttuency should all be under one local authority rather than being split: Hello The Royal Borough of Greenwich, bye bye hopeless Lewisham"

yep, ok - Greenwich is LOADS better than Lewisham (sarcasm btw, if you look at the deprivation indices they are what's called 'statistical neighbours' but by all means, please go and move to Greenwich, especially the centre, they LOVE a CPZ there :))

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/indices2010

Brockley Nick said...

Agreed Trixie:

Plumstead v Ladywell?

Charlton v Honor Oak?

Woolwich v Lewisham?

Greenwich v Blackheath?

Kidbrooke v Deptford?

Chris Roberts v Steve Bullock?

Glacial pace of change at Greenwich peninsula despite more than a decade of massive public and private sector investment v stalled projects in Lewisham, Catford and Deptford?

It is not obvious which is the better or better-borough. They are a couple of curates eggs.

Trixie said...

Eggsactly...

Mottingham v Downham?

mb said...

I'd actually be slightly offended if I had "royal" attached to my borough, being a sandle wearing republican.

Tressilliana said...

I may be wrong, but I think Lewisham's schools are generally doing a bit better than Greenwich's at the moment.

Tamsin said...

I think the constiuencies should all be within one borough if possible, particularly in London where identity of organisations and voluntary bodies with their boroughs is quite strong. Otherwise either the MP runs themselves even more ragged being all things to both boroughs or is handed a lovely excuse for ducking out of obligations - sorry, can't come to your event in Greenwich, doing something in Lewisham, etc.

I should look it up but haven't time - anyone knows what is happening in the rest of London?

Tamsin said...

I think the constiuencies should all be within one borough if possible, particularly in London where identity of organisations and voluntary bodies with their boroughs is quite strong. Otherwise either the MP runs themselves even more ragged being all things to both boroughs or is handed a lovely excuse for ducking out of obligations - sorry, can't come to your event in Greenwich, doing something in Lewisham, etc.

I should look it up but haven't time - anyone knows what is happening in the rest of London?

kitten-heeled pedant said...

Mb, if you must wear sandals, at least try and spell them correctly....

Mb said...

Noted......

TM said...

I bought some Sandals from TK Maxx recently, a shop I once vowed never to use.

Now all I need are some nice socks to wear with them.

Hugh said...

'try and'?

I'll give that a LOL.

mb said...

Sometimes I think my posts are not given the respect they deserve.

drakefell debaser said...

Is the TK Maxx in New Cross open yet?

Anonymous said...

We'll probably never find out. If a dishonest retailer opened up I suppose this site might do an article...

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, poor TK Maxx, unloved and ignored by this site and its readers:

http://brockleycentral.blogspot.com/2011/06/tk-maxx-opening-in-new-cross.html

I went past it a few weeks ago and it was still a hollow shell. But probably not far off now if it hasn't already opened.

Anonymous said...

TK Maxx in Lewisham is an excellent place to visit - if they have what you want it's absolutely fine

drakefell debaser said...

Thanks.

I'm sure TK Maxx will be chuffed to be given the anonymous stamp of honesty too. Maybe they will place a massive wooden wedge at the entrance of the store to symbolise the fight against dishonest hosiery..

mb said...

@DD, I'm surprised you can remain awake long enough to type at the moment ;-)

drakefell debaser said...

MB, match sticks are great once you get over the initial discomfort.

TM again said...

My Sandals came from the Harrogate Branch.

Dan said...

Andrew Gillian Vs Brockley Nick?

Lou Baker said...

@mb

Why on earth would you think republicans wear sandals?

I am a republican and my footwear is all sound.

And there is nothing wrong with cross borough constituencies.

The MP could use their influence to promote cross cooperation and to extend best practice.

Of course some MPs would not be up to the task - but that's another story.

NAT said...

Doc Martens Lou?

If someone, anyone, had suggested that MP's could, would or maybe even should 'use their influence to promote cross co-operation and to extend best practice..' you'ld have been all over it for the waffly flannel that it was.

For a perspective from the real world, check out Tamsins post of the 15th @ 12:13.

Read it twice, there's a good chap.

Lou Baker said...

@NAT

You should know I am a big fan of learning from the best - and putting that in to practice.

If Greenwich is better at collecting rubbish I'd hope Lewisham would copy (and try to improve) what its neighbour does.

Sharing and learning is vital.

And I disagree with Tamsin.

NAT said...

I was going to respond but then I looked again. This is piffle behond response. Greenwich waste collections...Parliamentary boundaries...yuo're really out where the busses don't run now.

neanderthal d said...

@Lou Baker

What kind of mimsy, Liberal pissant invokes the "best practice" formulation?

That is the kind of jargon that clueless management drones way out of their depth blether on about in their forlorn attempts to justify their pointless (and obstructive) existence.

Hang your head in shame.

You'll be informing us that you want to "facilitate radical repurposing" next.

Pathetic said...

For those that say that Lewisham is equivalent to Lewisham, I think I understand what you mean.

In fact, when I am in Lewisham town center and Catford it really reminds me of Grenwich town center, then I put my thick glasses and the dream is over.

I wonder why most of you bloggers bother to go to the Picturehouse and the restaurants in Greenwich, when you can go to Catford for nice and exciting evening out.

Brockley Nick said...

@Pathetic

"For those that say that Lewisham is equivalent to Lewisham, I think I understand what you mean."

I think you mean comparing Lewisham with Greenwich?

"In fact, when I am in Lewisham town center and Catford it really reminds me of Grenwich town center, then I put my thick glasses and the dream is over."

Did anyone compare Lewisham or Catford town centres with Greenwich town centre?

We were talking about the two boroughs. Greenwich town centre is a tiny part of the borough. A reasonable comparison is between Greenwich and Blackheath, which are both nice areas, popular with tourists. Personally, I much prefer Greenwich to visit. Greenwich is also where I am from.

NAT said...

@pathetic Greenwich town centre is part of the borough but not the borough. Take a look at earlier posts for some other components.

Anonymous said...

To be fare I don't thing pathetic understands what an MP does or what the debate is about so can perhaps be forgiven.

Tamsin said...

Had a look at the site (didn't twig that it was still in consultation until 8th December). It looks like Lewisham has one whole MP one half one (Dulwich and Sydenham) and one three-quarters or two-thirds one (Deptford and Greenwich).

I think I would rather have two whole MPs.

Haven't really got the time yet to look in detail at the figures but it does seem that the "electorate" is smaller than the "population" - even taking into account the statement that one in four of Lewisham residents is under 19.

Lou Baker said...

Arguing council boundaries matter greatly is to really misunderstand London and Londoners.

That is not how this city works.

I live in Lewisham but most of my nearest services are in Southwark. Others in our borough will be nearer to facilities in Greenwich or Bromley. For us Lewisham exists largely to collect our council tax and to spend it on cack like People's Day and Lewisham Life. We are denied the Southwark equivalent of this cack.

In London our boundaries are fake and largely irrelevant - people mainly don't care. Which is why we should only have a handful of boroughs rather than 30+. Cross borough MPs may expedite this necessary change - removing vast swathes of bureaucrats in the process.

mb said...

I've no issue with reducing the number of boroughs or MPs in principle, so long that there is a recognition that if you do have a larger geographic area you may well be having to deal with very different issues in one administration. On one hand both parties (i think?) are championing devolution of powers to the lowest posible level, could be a good thing as those IN those areas have some power over what is done, but at the same time some are saying we need fewer larger administrations - centralisation of powers.

NAT said...

Effects of population size on local authority performance. I skipped the clever stuff and went to conclusions

NAT said...

'On average performance improves with size up to a population of around 480,000 and declines thereafter'

Lou Baker said...

@nat

Lewisham has a population of less than 250,000 - therefore combining with at least one other borough would make sense.

Glad you agree.

NAT said...

@Lou. By a handful I took you to mean something less than 16.

No matter

I thought it time for a fact.

Lewark or Greenisham?

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